- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Scabies
It is essential to remove scabies from the living environment to avoid re-infestation after treatment. All bedding and clothing must be thoroughly laundered. Other members of the household or institution ought to be treated.
Permethrin Cream 5%
Scabies is usually treated by applying permethrin cream 5%. It is applied to the skin from the neck down. The cream is left on for 8-12 hours. Excessive use of this medication can be harmful. Carefully read and follow the directions. Do not repeat treatments unless told to do so by a doctor.
If new, itchy bumps continue to appear in the days following your treatment, be sure to alert your doctor.
It may take several weeks for itching to disappear following successful treatment. Itching can be temporarily relieved with:
- Corticosteroid cream (Lotrisone)
- Antihistamines and corticosteroids
Some severe cases may respond poorly to other treatments. In this case, an oral medication, called ivermectin (Stromectol), is sometimes prescribed. It is given as a single dose.
Alternative topical creams include crotamiton 10% (Eurax) and lindane 1%.
Lindane is a second line treatment. It should only be given to patients who are unable to take other medications or who have not responded to them. Lindane can be toxic. It should not be overused. Follow the directions as given.